Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide and methane, has recently become an international task as a countermeasure against climate change. Although it is pointed out that livestock has a significant impact on methane emission, a new research report was released on September 13, 2021 that calculated the amount of greenhouse gas emitted by agriculture, such as livestock and vegetable production.
The research team calculated greenhouse gas emissions from the production of more than 170 plant foods and 16 animal foods in more than 200 countries. As a result, the global food production system, including agricultural machinery use, fertilizer application, and food transport, emits 17.318 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases annually. This is equivalent to 35% of the world’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.
Of the greenhouse gas emissions from food production, the amount emitted by livestock was 57% and the amount emitted by plant food cultivation was 29%. If we pay attention to livestock, beef, milk, pork, and chicken emit a lot of greenhouse gases, and beef production, the largest emitter, accounts for 25% of total food emissions. Also, in plants, emissions from rice, wheat, and sugar cane account for 12% of the total food.
According to the research team, the amount of greenhouse gas emitted when 1 kg of wheat is produced is 2.5 kg, whereas when 1 kg of beef is produced, 70 kg of greenhouse gas is emitted. The report explains why many greenhouse gases are emitted during meat production by saying that more food must be produced in order to produce more meat, so many greenhouse gases are generated. Related information can be found here.